The other night I made a buttermilk broccoli soup for dinner. But, right after I'd pureed the soup in my Vitamix, I realized that I hadn't taken out the bay leaf! I panicked. I've been trying to teach my girls how to cook simultaneously while I cook the main part of the meal. Having conversations and cooking can often get mixed up in my head and it's hard to keep track of ingredients once in a while.
I sent the kids out of the room while I tried to recover and figure out what to do. There wasn't time to cook anything new before dinner. Otherwise we were going to end up eating at 8:00 p.m.! I looked online for information and to try and figure out if we could eat the soup or not. Here's what I discovered...
The bay leaves we cook with aren't actually poisonous unless they're consumed in large amounts. There is ground bay leaf in Old Bay Seasoning actually. Some people can react to bay leaf and have stomach aches. The biggest reason why is that bay leaves are tough in cooking and they usually don't puree very well. The rough edges of the leaves can tear you up inside. In my case, there was no trace of the leaf to be seen. It pureed so well. I couldn't pick out any pieces, because there weren't any to be picked out.
I called my mom and another gal I knew to ask their opinions. Both had never made the mistake I did, but both thought it would be fine. So, we ate the soup. And we were indeed fine. Thankfully. I'm going to try and remember in the future though. The bay leaf did give the soup a much stronger flavor when it was pureed and my kids ate it, but didn't care for it.
So, in case this ever happens to you--toxicologists did agree on everything I read on the internet that bay leaves aren't poisonous. But, the flavor is very strong and you wouldn't want to eat one if you happen to see one in some soup you're about to eat.